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journey, they arrived at an inn, and one of them, on opening his sack to give out provision for the way, saw his money in tha mouth of the saek. At thistheir hearts failed them for fear, lest they should be suspected of having stolen the money. Thug they were greatly concerned for themselves, and deeply deplored their unhappy situation; for although they might have been formerly guilty, yet now they were entirely innocent of this crime. They believed that the hand of the Lord was now upon them, and exclaimed, " What is this that God hath done unto us?"
On arriving home, they recounted to their father Jacob all that had befallen them in Egypt, and on the way; and when they told him that Simeon was in prison, and that Benjamin must go down to Egypt with them, he exclaimed, in the bitterness of lamentation, " Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away from me!" But Reuben kindly remonstrated with the aged parent, " Nay, slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee : deliver him into mine hand, and I will bring him to thee again." But Jacob, firm in his resolution, declared, " My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and.he is left alone. If mischief befal him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down
my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave." The deep grief with which these last words were expressed, could alone be relieved by a burst of those tears which often in the bitterest pangs of our agony are a comfort, while they go deeply into the soul of a sympathizing friend. If the brethren ever felt, what must their feelings have been on this heartrending occasion!
After this the famine continued with great severity, and the provisions which Jacob's sons brought from Egypt being exhausted, he directed them to go again and buy grain. But Judah, convinced how difficult it would be to prevail on the venerable Patriarch to change his determination not to send Benjamin, at length, summoning up all his eloquence, came forward, and addressed his father thus: " The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go dowa and buy thee food: but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you." "Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother ?" replied the father. And they said, "Themanaakedusstraitlyof .our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told
him according to the tenour of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your hrother down?" Judah again stepped forward, and with an earnestness peculiar to his character said, "Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if 1 bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: for except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time." After the tumult, which was thus excited between duty and affection in the bosom of their afflicted father Israel, had subsided, he conceded, and replied to them, " If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: and take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: take also your brother; and arise, go again unto the man: and God Almighty give you mercy before the man; that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
Having thus finished his pathetic farewell, and given them his blessing, he dismissed them, and they, proceeding on their journey, soon arrived in Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
It may be naturally concluded, that the anxiety of Joseph's mind was great during the interval between the departure of his brethren and their return with Benjamin.
As soon, therefore, as he heard of their arrival, he ordered his butler to prepare a feast for them, which being done as directed, the butler informed them that they must go to the governor's. At this they were greatly alarmed, supposing they were to be taken there on account of the money which they had found in their sacks, when they, on the first occasion, left Egypt. When, therefore, they arrived at the house, they expressed their uneasiness by saying to the steward: "O Sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: and it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks." The steward soon removed their apprehension: "Peace be to you," said he;
fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money.'' Further to remove their fears, he brought Simeon their brother out unto them.
As soon as Joseph arrived, the brethren instantly fell at bis feet, and offered bim their presents. He then inquired in a kind manner of their welfare, and said, " Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake, is he yet alive?" They replied, " Thy servant our father is yet alive." On which they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. Then seeing Benjamin, Joseph inquired, " Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me?" And turning to him, he blessed him, and said, " God be gracious unto thee, my son!" On saying this, his emotions overpowered him; he hastened away, and wept. How lovely the Spirit of God exhibits itself on this interesting occasion! How gently flowed the expression, " God be gracious unto thee, my son!" But to resume our recital. When he had restrained his feelings, and washed his face, he came to his brethren again, and ordered the feast to be brought. Having sat down to eat, the Egyptians separated themselves from the Hebrews, as the former would not eat with the latter; and Joseph gave seats to his brethren, the first according to his birth-right, and the youngest according to his youth; so that they mar